Thursday, May 18, 2017

Archive Sale at No Man Walks Alone - 3 Days Only



With the amount of sales that occur during the year, it can be hard sometimes to get a sense for what a good sale is and what could probably be passed over. My favorite online store, No Man Walks Alone, just launched their private archive sale for just the next three days. As a reference, for the quality and range of inventory on sale, you should know that prices are not just low, they are stupid bananas.

It goes without saying that purchases are final sale - so I guess it does go with saying. But if you're not sure about sizing and are as averse to risk as I am, Kyle at NMWA has been really helpful to me in the past with measurements and size recommendations. Things are moving fast, so I'd suggest you do the same if you have your eye on something. I would also highly recommend looking through the entire selection, but some specific pics below.

Link to Sale


Some Picks:


ts(s) Duffle Coat (size 4) - $168: 


Easily one of the highlights of the sale. I have a slight aversion to most duffle coats, but ts(s) hit the nail right on the head with their more interesting and sophisticated take. Sometimes I'm glad when things aren't in my size, because if it was I'd definitely have to buy this and then explain to my wife why I need another jacket. "BECAUSE LOOK AT IT" has never achieved the desired effect, from my experience.

Monitaly Shawl Belted Field Coat (size 44) - $159: 


I bought this a few years ago for about $350 and it was worth every penny. $159 is just stupid. My awkward fit pics here (you can also find some of Greg (from NMWA) on the Styleforum affiliate thread. The geometric stripe wool patch pocket jacket also on sale piques my interest as well, though that would never make anyone's capsule wardrobe list.

*update - field coat just sold out*

Buttero Side Zip Boots - $192: 


If you read Put This On and Die, Workwear, you might remember a few articles about wearing side zips (in fact, one was just posted the other day with some options, including Buttero). These Butteros on sale are fantastic and should fit the bill easily. If you're unsure about the sizing, shoot NMWA customer service an email and they should be able to help you out.


 

Buttero Tanino Suede Sneakers (multiple colors, taupe linked) - $126-130: 


I love my own Buttero Taninos, which have only been getting better with time. These prices are as low as I've seen. For me, the regular suede version looks great in taupe, but there are some perforated models available as well for slightly lower prices.

Camoshita Suit (size 54) - $393: 


Versatile it is not, but a great example of what makes Camoshita so desirable and unique in the marketplace today. It's not quite the price I've read about recently on a once-in-a-lifetime $75 secondhand Camoshita pickup at Street x Sprezza, $393 for a new Camoshita suit is still unheard of.

EoToTo Collarless Trucker Jacket - $105: 


I've actually been keeping my eye on this jacket and have gotten close to purchasing it a few times, but I've never been sure I could pull it off personally. A statement piece for sure, NMWA featured it during a tongue in cheek stylist contest for some reference fit pics a while back. For only $105 now, it's mighty tempting if you're looking for something to inject some life into your wardrobe.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Pardon the Cyberdust

Apologies for any disruptions on the site you might have noticed recently. I've been tinkering with some formatting and layout changes. Despite my Asian heritage and general computer literacy, web design and coding are still pretty foreign to me. And I cheated my way through my college Java class. 

Allegedly.

You may continue to see some changes going forward, but I figured the best thing to do was to keep the site up rather than take it down while I figure it out, considering it can take me days to decide on buying a pair of socks.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Two Weeks in Japan: A Style Journal (Week Two)

Cruising in Shimokitazawa



This is part II of II of an informal style journal I kept during our trip to Japan last November (apologies for any formatting issues - Blogger is a P.O.S.). First week can be found here.

 Day 8 - Tokyo (Shinjuku): Isetan Overload

Isetan Men (photo from Match-jp.com)  


  • The Isetan Men's Store in Shinjuku houses the densest, most overwhelming collection of high end menswear I've ever experienced (check out the store brand list here to give you an idea). For some perspective, the mens store has it's own eight floor building apart from the main store. You could just strip yourself naked in there and let the sartorial waves crash over you. The only other thing that would make the moment more magical is if they had Willy Wonka skipping around the isles singing "Pure Imagination." Gene Wilder Wonka. Not Depp.
  • Golden Gai, a small area in Shinjuku filled with bars and small restaurants, is a really cool place to grab a bite and hang out, though most of the bars don't seem to open til later in the evening. A typical spot there has seating for maybe 8-10 people crammed around a small bar. Then you sit, drink, and smell each other. While we were checking out the area, there was a fashion shoot going on in one of the alleys. In the alley behind my Philly apartment, it's mostly a public bathroom/place one goes to throw up.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Better Sweats - Todd Snyder x Champion Collab on Sale at Century 21


I don't really wear sweats. I do coucher-cise in my living room, but cooler months usually find me in shawl collar cardigans more than anything else, which are more easily slipped on/off and tend to look better than the majority of sweats out there. That being said, if I did wear activewear I'd highly consider pickup some up from Todd Snyder, former J. Crew head of menswear design turned eponymous label, who partnered up with Champion a few years ago to create a rugged activewear capsule collection that's become quite popular. In the line, you'll generally find more premium materials, vintage detailing, and a higher level of construction.


Classic Garment-Dyed Sweatshirt (item info)
A number of items just got added to Century 21's site, with their standard garment dyed sweatshirt on sale for $34.99 (what I'd buy myself, currently on sale on the Todd Snyder website for $79 marked down from $98), short sleeved and french terry sweats at $29.99, and a smattering of other pieces for prices lower than I've seen before (you can skip the YOLO-type graphic tees, though). For reference, prior posted sales on deals forums have hit mid $40s range in months and years prior, but that's been a bit hard to come by.

If you've been looking at picking up some higher quality activewear but are not on board with whatever the hell is going on with the likes of J. Crew x New Balance (AKA the worst thing ever), the price of entry has been lowered temporarily. I have to say, even with my own aversion to the genre I've been close to buying more than a few times since they got dropped yesterday.

Link to the Sale (including mainline Todd Snyder items)

Second Link (for items erroneously labeled "Champion" only)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

First Impressions - The Summer Sandal - Chamula Original Cancun and Chichen Huaraches

Chamula Huaraches
Chamula Chichen (left); Chamula Cancun (right)

"You need a pair of sandals!" my wife decreed. I looked down at the old Rainbow flip flops that followed me from my younger years. They had held up admirably, to their credit, until the end of last summer when our new puppy decided to Pacman his way through the leather thongs. I have to say, though, while I've always appreciated the convenience of flip flops, I can't say I've ever particularly liked the vibe associated with them - a sort of graphic tee and board shorts sort of feeling that hasn't translated particularly well for me out of beach wear and into my adult life. In fact, I've been leaning away from flip flops for quite some time now, mostly finding myself in espadrilles during the hotter months over the past few seasons.

Chamula Huaraches

Last summer, I set my eyes on a pair of Chamula Original's huaraches, a line of footwear based on the traditional Mexican woven leather sandals. Now almost a year later with the weather warming, my old flip flops properly chewed up, and East Dane including Chamula in a recent sale, I figured it was high time to graduate to a better summer sandal. I ended up ordering a couple pairs - a closed-toed model called the "Cancun," as well as an open-toed version named "Chichen" to try.

Design, Materials, and Construction


Chamula Cancun
Chamula Cancun - Tan


Chamula Cancun huaraches (in brown) under construction (from Chamula Original's website)
Huaraches are traditional Mexican woven leather sandals of pre-European origin first worn by the working class and slowly assimilated into North American culture over the next few hundred years. First constructed with leather outsoles studded with hobnails, the more iconic form is probably that made with recycled tires for soles, though in modern times they can be soled with pretty much anything. Coincidentally, we happen to have a student of Mexican heritage rotating with us at work, and he told me growing up huaraches were typical footwear in his household. When I asked him about his experience, he remarked on the relative ease of which one might slip them on and off so that "when your parents are mad at you, they always hit you with huaraches." The more you know.

Chamula Chichen
Chichen pattern weaving

Typically, the sandals are made from leather woven in and out of the insole until the entire last is covered. The patterns created can range from the ultra simple to the ultra complex, and different patterns are proprietary to each maker. I'm particularly a fan of the repeating triangle motif on the Chamula's Cancun and the central diamond design of the Chichen model.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Drake's, Inis Meain, and Summer Clearance at Barneys Warehouse

Eidos x Christian Kimber woven sneakers

The weather's been turning lately. It's cooled off a touch for the next couple of days, but it was pushing 90 degrees here last week. At a similar time last year, I was buying a Crombie great coat. Today, it's a good day to buy scarves.

It might seem crazy and impractical to buy out of season sometimes (in this case, pretty much opposite season), but you clearly get the best deals as long as you're okay sitting on your purchases until it gets cold again. Barneys Warehouse, the best of the online outlets, started an extra 25-60% off clearance sale in the early morning today. Included in the extra 60% clearance sale are colder weather stalwarts Inis Meain, Drake's accessories, and some more all-season pieces at an extra 25% like Eidos Napoli and Christian Kimber.


Be warned - things tend to move on the quicker side during these heavy end of season sales for the more highly discounted items. Last year I sat on some Inis Meain items for a day and it sold out. I went to bed last night with another one in my cart and this morning it had sold out again. I guess it's God's way of telling me I don't look good in beanies.


Link to Clearance Section - I'd start here and then work your way outwards to the 25% off "New Season Sale" larger section, which can be a bit of a chore to work through the 4000+ items

Drake's - A good selection of scarves in classic patterns

Inis Meain - Sweaters on sale at extra 25% off, with better deals on other cold-weather accessories like this Aran cable alpaca silk scarf (pictured above)

Eidos Napoli and Christian Kimber x Eidos - A lot of Eidos Napoli, one of my favorite brands, including shoe collaborations with Christian Kimber up on the site right now. Size down one on the sneakers (pictured above), otherwise the sizing runs TTS

Other picks: Zanone knitwear (Incotex sister brand), Tomorrowland coyote fur trim parka, Boglioli sport coats, and a horrifyingly blingy Saint Laurent guitar case (you've been warned). FYI there are a few Crombie pieces out there as well, including a similar great coat to the one I bought last year for $480, but I would expect the discounts to increase on those over the next few weeks to months. You never know, though. As they say: 

"It's all in the game." - Omar



Friday, April 28, 2017

In Review: Meeting in the Middle - A Look at RRL and the Odd Sport Coat

Also Pictured: Shirt - J. Crew, Belt - Thirteen50, Jeans - Levi's Vintage Clothing, Boots - Allen Edmonds, Scarf - Polo RL

There's probably no other brand - or man, for that matter - that epitomizes quintessential American fashion like Ralph Lauren. That's a bold statement for sure, but one I think is well merited. And while Polo is unquestionably at the forefront of the consumer consciousness, my favorite line by far is RRL (pronounced "double RL"), named after the Lauren family's ranch in Colorado. The RRL brand is a love letter to the Great American West - a niche passion project that has gained a real cult following among heritage Americana enthusiasts over the years since it was started in 1993.

Though the brand puts out some eccentric pieces every season, RRL collections consistently display a level of restraint and sophistication virtually unmatched among their peers. I've come to love a lot of Japanese Americana, for example, but RRL has such a finely nuanced aesthetic that it almost always manages to avoid the costumey impression that other brands, both domestic and abroad, can sometimes get mired down in.



RRL have a huge fan base, but the barrier for many, including myself, has always been the cost of admission. It's flat out expensive. However, during a recent sale at Stag Provisions I was able to pick up an odd sport coat from RRL's AW2016 collection for $99.96 - heavily discounted from its initial $590 MSRP (with other sizes still priced at $325, oddly), and one of the lowest prices I've seen on RRL outerwear anywhere. The purpose of this review isn't so much so others can buy this exact jacket (though you can at a higher price at the time of this posting), but rather to give a closer examination of RRL design, materials, and general pricing advice if you've not previously had the chance. Let's take a look.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Frank Muytjens Out At J. Crew


Following up on the news of Jenna Lyons leaving J. Crew only a short few weeks ago, news just broke that head of menswear design and the mind behind the often-praised Wallace and Barnes line is leaving the company.

I'm not going to rehash my prior sentiments about J. Crew's changes, but...come on.

If you want to read more about Frank Muytjens, the man, I think you can learn a lot about his style and eye from this feature on his Hillsdale, NY home as pictured above and below. Here's to hoping Muytjens starts his own line, a la Todd Snyder circa 2011.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Need Wooden Hangers? Check Your Local American Apparel


I heard through the interwebs that American Apparel has been clearing out there stores in true "everything must go" style prior to their stores closing, and a guy in Chicago was able to score a box full of wooden hangers for $5. Apparently, it's pretty common for stores to sell off all their hangers upon closing for almost nothing. My local American Apparel in Philly is closing in a week, so I decided to check it out today. Sure enough, they handed me a large paper bag and told me however many hangers I could fit in there was five dollars (cash only).

For me, that ended up being 30 hangers, which works out to a little less than 17 cents per hanger. I might have been able to put 5-10 more in there, but was worried my bag might break on the way home. One of the girls noted that they should be getting in more soon prior to close as well.  They're also selling ugly store fixtures if you need something to make your home off-putting.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Doing Background Research on the Difficult Product

Jim Carrey as Me Doing Research on the Difficult Product (went straight to DVD)

If you're a real bargain hunter, it can be hard sometimes to find information on things you come across - detail shots, fit pics, size charts, etc., especially when buying things from past seasons on outlet and sales sites, the secondhand market, or brands that have a smaller footprint on the Information Superhighway (you don't call it that?). The process is usually as straightforward as googling a product name, but once in a while you can't find anything anywhere at first and the whole thing turns into a huge pain in your gonad. But when I'm having trouble finding some good references, there are a few tricks I use that I thought I'd share. Fair warning, a fair proportion of guys may find this process onerous and unworthy of your time. Fair enough - as always, your mileage may vary.

Use The Internet Archive: Wayback Machine





Depending on the site, vendors will often keep old product pages up for months or years. You'll also find merchant or third party blog sites that will occasionally showcase a product with fit pics, etc. simply by searching the product name. This is, by far, the easiest way to go about it if the information is readily available, and often you can get enough information just from this step alone to decide whether or not to make a purchase.

Unfortunately, it's also common for old items to have been scrubbed off of merchant sites and all you get is a "page not found" notification instead of that sweet sweet shoulder measurement you were pining for. The good news is that sometimes those pages have been archived on the Wayback Machine, an incredible tool which lets you enter in a web address and search through versions of that page that have been captured and snapshotted in time. Unfortunately, not all pages have been archived and sometimes an image or two won't load correctly, but more than once I've found the information I was looking for on captured versions of websites from seasons past. That Kapital Domingo coverall page shown above, for instance, no longer exists on the Kapital site, but on the archived site you can still look at and download all the pictures, look at the description, and access the size chart.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Wolverine 1000 Miles on Sierra Trading Post - $97.49 (!)

I try not to let this site get mired down by sales posts, but I felt like I had to mention that Sierra Trading Post is running their Wolverine 1000 Mile seconds quality stock in three colors at $129.99 with coupon codes applying. With an extra 25% off on the current promotion, that brings them to $97.49. I don't think I've ever seen a price that low for them ever, though do note these are seconds quality, meaning usually some sort of scuff or scratch somewhere. I would also not expect the stock to last very long.

You might recall that I wrote a review on my 1000 Mile Centennial Edition boots in buffalo hide a few years ago. The originals are much the same, albeit in a more accessible and versatile Chromexcel. Gun to my head and forced to choose between the two, I'd probably pick the originals in brown and then ask what sort of person forces another person at gunpoint to buy boots.

Need a coupon code? Here's mine that I'm not using at the moment, which you can apply in cart  to get that sweet sweet $97.49 (limited uses): NVY8797M

Unfortunately, Sierra Trading Post seems to have stopped sending coupon codes out to newer customers/subscribers, but I still get them frequently for being an OG. So if you're ever looking for one, just shoot me an email and I can probably send you a 25% off code (long gone are the extra 40% off days).

Link to Wolverine 1000 Miles on STP


*Note 4/16 - It looks like these have gone in and out of stock a few times over the past few days, and usually very quickly. If you're in the market and are trying to increase your chances of catching a pair, consider using a web monitor to alert you when the page changes so you'll be one of the first to know. I've covered it a bit before here if the concept is new to you.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Epaulet Closing Sale




The Epaulet store in NYC had their closing sale in the physical location over the weekend and tomorrow will be opening up their online portal to sell remaining stock. If you're signed up for the newsletter it should be coming tomorrow, but one of the owners posted on Reddit today noting that you can shop early online here:

Closing Sale Link


Epaulet Steerhide Tennis Trainers

Enter in promo code CLOSING40-FINAL-SALE to get an extra 40% off listed prices. Some good prices on Alden footwear as well as a selection of blazers and sneakers. When I was looking to buy some simple, well-made sneakers, Epaulet's trainers were definitely on my list and what I would buy now if I needed a good pair. 

Be aware all sales are final. Ultra final. So email them if you have any sizing questions at contact@epauletnewyork.com.